Archive for May, 2008

I’ve previously discussed how to use background masks with annotative text. Now I want to talk about using background masks in block attributes. Using the ATTDEF command, you create an attribute, but once it is created, there doesn’t appear to be any way to apply a background mask. The trick is to use multiline attributes.

Attribute Definition dialog

Checking “Multiple lines” makes the “Default” value editable only by clicking on the ellipses.
background mask selection

If you click on these and type in your text (you can type just one line if you want), you can then highlight and right-click on your text and select “background mask” and apply the background mask settings.

Check “Use background mask”. I usually set the border offset factor to 1.2 or so, and the fill color to “use drawing background color”.


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I’m back!  Our big project went out and I’m back from vacation, so I’ve finally got some free time to devote to the ol’ blog. Here’s a nice collection of AutoCAD tips:

  • The CommTech CAD Cafe has a good article on controlling the UCS icon and layout tabs.
  • Lynn Allen introduces us to XLIST. Personally, I like to set up an alias like “LX” to execute the command line version, -XLIST, so the results remain in the command history window.  Great for finding layer names and referring to them in the layer dialog box.
  • Ward Romberger from has provided some esoteric but useful information about editing multiple MTEXT entries.  It’s articles like this that make CAD-e-Corner my favorite AutoCAD blog.
  • Finally, Donnie Gladfelter has an insightful article about using STB-based plotting over at The CAD Geek.  I’m going to have to consider switching over to STBs.

I’ve got some more tips of my own planned, so stop back soon!

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So AutoCAD crashes every once in a while. It’s bound to happen. If it happens a lot, you might get tired of the error reporting dialog box popping up (unless you enjoy filling in the error report with a series of expletives – I wonder how many reports are received with this invaluable content).

So turn it off. Just type REPORTERROR 0 in the command line.

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